You may have noticed a recent newspaper report that United Airlines is serving its passengers sandwiches made with ConAgra's Healthy Choice meats. Though this is said to be the first such deal between a major airline and a brand of low-fat meats, it surely won't be the last. The airline industry, more than almost any other service sector, has a vested interest in seeing its customers lose weight. With slimmer passengers, a plane will burn less fuel to get itself off the ground. (Not much per flight, granted, but it adds up.) And skinnier passengers could fit into narrower seats, which means an airline could squeeze more revenue out of each plane. In the absence of pricing incentives for svelte travelers, the best an airline can do is take steps to reduce the average weight of its customers.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)